H I G H L I G H T S
* Upper Mississippi River Navigation
* Poor Children in America
* Farm-to-School Legislation
UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION
The Upper Mississippi River Task Force on Thursday, December 4, will host a briefing by the Army Corps of Engineers on the river's navigation system. Corps officials will focus on the various programs used to keep the locks and dams operational, the ongoing lock and dam rehab projects, and the potential consequences of not soon repairing areas along the lock and dam system.
The December 4 briefing begins at 10:00 am in 1539 Longworth House Office Building.
Contact: Melissa Woods with Rep. Ron Kind (202/225-5506).
POOR CHILDREN IN AMERICA
The Population Resource Center and the Northeast-Midwest Institute on Friday, December 5, will cosponsor a breakfast briefing on the status of poor children in America. The movement of low-income parents into the workforce since welfare reform in 1996 represents a remarkable change in American society. Many poor families have enjoyed significant economic gains, but recent trends indicate that challenges remain if children of the working poor are to participate equally in the American goal of "no child left behind." The December 5 briefing will run from 9:30 am until 11:00 am in 121 Cannon House Office Building.
Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) are seeking cosponsors for S. 1755, the Farm-to-Cafeteria Projects Act of 2003 (S. 1755).
As Congress continues its effort to reauthorize federal child nutrition programs, concern has increased across the country about the escalating problem of obesity and preventable nutritional disease in children. S. 1755 seeks to address this crisis with a modest program to bring locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables into school cafeterias through collaborations of farmers, schools, and community organizations. The bill would authorize $10 million annually for grants up to $100,000 to assist with the initial costs of a farm-to-school project. Grants could be used to purchase adequate equipment to store and prepare fresh foods, develop food procurement relationships with nearby farmers, plan seasonal menus and promotional materials, and develop experiential nutrition education related to agriculture.
As conference negotiations are settled, details on appropriations important to the region are available on the Institute's web site.